Mellon Faculty Fellowships

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Faculty Fellows in a discussion
Faculty Fellow Stephanie Jones from Grinnell College (left) and Jacqueline Scott (Loyola University Chicago) during a discussion at the Faculty Fellows meeting in Chicago on January 27-28, 2017.

At the post-graduate level, Mellon Faculty Fellowships offer tenure-track appointments at one of the ACM colleges to new Ph.D. or terminal master’s degree graduates whose backgrounds and life experiences will enhance diversity on the ACM campuses and who have recently earned their graduate degree, preferably from a Big Ten Academic Alliance institution or the University of Chicago. There will be 33 faculty fellow appointments in the humanities, humanistic social sciences, or the arts over the nine years of the grant.

Read about the Faculty Fellows

2020 Mellon Faculty Fellows

Coe College


Anthony Kelley
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Ph.D: Philosophy, University of Colorado, Boulder
M.A.: Philosophy, Northern Illinois University
A.B.: Women’s and Gender Studies, Columbia University

Research: Ethical Theory, with a focus on well-being; Applied Ethics, with a focus on the allocation of scarce medical resources

Teaching: Introduction to Philosophy, Bioethics, Ethical Theory, Philosophy and Race, Philosophy and Gender, and Logic

Faculty Profile

Coe College

Patricia Valderrama

Patricia Valderrama
Assistant Professor of English

Ph.D: Comparative Literature, Stanford University
B.A.: Comparative Literature, Princeton University

Research: 20th- and 21st-century Latinx and Latin American literatures, environmental humanities, decolonial studies, climate change, animal studies

Teaching: Latinx and environmental literatures

Lake Forest College


Roshni Patel
Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Ph.D: Philosophy, Emory University
B.A.: Philosophy, History, University of Texas – Austin

Research: My research engages Indian Buddhist philosophy and contemporary continental philosophy in cross-cultural synthesis. I explore the possibility of an ethics that is not predicated upon a powerful and sovereign will, but rather emerges from our constitutive relation and interdependence. I am also interested in questions about epistemic virtues and modalities that contribute to being a responsive and receptive knower, rather than a knower who inhabits the subject pole of a dualistic configuration.

Teaching: Asian Philosophy, Comparative Philosophy, and Moral Philosophy

Faculty Profile

St. Olaf College 


Timothy Rainey II
Assistant Professor of Religion

Ph.D: Emory University | Department of Religion
M.Div.: Princeton Theological Seminary
B.A.: Morehouse College

Research: Religion, economy, and African repatriation in the early Nineteenth Century

Teaching: History of Religion in the Americas, Black Church Studies, the African American intellectual tradition, Religion in Sierra Leone, Africana Religions, and Religion and Capitalism in the Atlantic World

Faculty Profile

2019 Mellon Faculty Fellows

Colorado College

Baran Germen
Assistant Professor of Film and Media StudiesPh.D: Comparative Literature, University of Oregon

M.A.: Comparative Literature, Istanbul Bilgi University
B.A.: American Culture and Literature, University of Baskent

Research: Transmedial queer aesthetics, modern Turkish literature and film, melodrama, affect, queer theory, French critical theory, secularism, and phenomenology

Teaching: Global cinema and comparative media studies cutting across melodrama, queer theory, and Islam and secularism

Faculty Profile

Cornell College

*Khristin Landry-Montes
Assistant Professor in Art History

Ph.D: Art History, University of Illinois at Chicago
M.A.: Art History, Northern Illinois University

Research: Teaching: art and architecture of ancient Mexico, global contemporary art, and the art of border walls and spaces.

Faculty Profile

Grinnell College

Nicky Tavares
Assistant Professor in Film and Media Studies

M.F.A.: Film/Video, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
B.A.: Photocommunications, Saint Edward’s University

Research: Sheds light on systemic inequalities through personal storytelling via photography, film, video, animation, sculpture, VR 360, as well as across film genres and presentation formats such as documentary, installation, GIFS, and moving image projections for live performance.

Teaching: Introduction to the Moving Image and Experimental Filmmaking

Faculty Profile

Knox College

Yannick Marshall
Assistant Professor of Africana Studies

Ph.D.: African Studies, Columbia University
M. Phil.: African Studies, Columbia University
B.A.: Political Science and Caribbean Studies, University of Toronto

Research: Police power, race, colonial sexualities, anti-blackness and urbanity especially in East Africa and the United States

Teaching: Police Power; Anti-blackness; Racialized Violence; Colonial Masculinities; East African Studies; African American Studies; Race, Space, Urbanity and the Built Environment.

Faculty Profile

Lawrence University 

Vanessa D. Plumly
Assistant Professor of German

Ph.D: German Studies, University of Cincinnati
M.A.: German Studies, University of Kentucky
B.A.: German & History, Bethany College

Research: Afro-German culture, film, and gender and sexuality studies across Ethnic Studies, Film Studies, and Gender Studies

Teaching: Black German Studies, Jewish German Studies, Queer Studies, postwar and post-Wall Germany, film and visual culture, Fin-de-siècle Vienna

Faculty Profile

Macalester College

Michael Prior
Assistant Professor of English

M.F.A.: Poetry, Cornell University
M.A.: English Literature, University of Toronto
B.A.: English Literature, University of British Columbia

Research: Poetry, politics of poetic form, Asian American poetries, creative nonfiction, intergenerational memory, literary citizenship

Teaching: Introduction to Creative Writing and Crafts of Writing: Poetry

Faculty Profile

2018 Mellon Faculty Fellows

Beloit College


Sonya Maria Johnson
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies

Ph.D. Dual Major in Socio-Cultural Anthropology and African American & African Studies, Michigan State University
B.A. Anthropology and Ethnic Studies, University of Colorado, Boulder

Research: Cuban African descendants’ engagement of ancestral spirits from Cuba’s colonial past to maintain their “African” identity, integrating the significance of contemporary ritual realities into theoretical discourses about the “Black Atlantic”

Teaching: Religions of the Black Atlantic: The Caribbean and Latin America; Religious Thought in the Black Atlantic: Cuba; Ritual and Culture in the African Diaspora; Religion and Reality; and The Anthropology of Religion

Faculty Profile

Carleton College


Candace Moore
Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Cinema and Media Studies

Ph.D. Cinema and Media Studies, UCLA
M.F.A. Creative Writing, San Francisco State University
B.A. Literature, University of California – Santa Cruz

Research: Feminist and Queer Media Studies, American Television History, LGBTQ Studies, Minoritarian Media Industries and Production Cultures, Sex in the Media, and Digital Television and Convergence Culture

Teaching:  Courses include Introduction to LGBT/Queer Studies, Feminist and Queer Theory, and Race Gender and Sexuality in Popular Culture

Faculty Profile

Coe College


Laissa M. Rodríguez Moreno
Assistant Professor of Spanish

Ph.D.  Spanish Literature and M.A., University of Wisconsin – Madison
B.A. Literary Studies, Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Research:  Combines topics related to 20th – 21st c. Latin American political violence with scholarly interests in Latin American history, theater and performance, political philosophy, cultural and visual studies ,and Illustrated Books

Teaching:  Spanish Language, Latin American history, and advanced literature classes on Hispanic graphic novels, performance and politics, theater and literature

Faculty Profile


*Alexander Zambrano
Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Ph.D. Philosophy, University of Colorado – Boulder
B.A. Philosophy, Loyola Marymount University

Research:  Biomedical Ethics, with focus on the allocation of scarce medical resources and bio-enhancement technologies and their implications for distributive justice

Teaching:  Applied ethics (including bioethics and environmental ethics), the history of philosophy (ancient and early modern), philosophy of race, philosophy of religion, and normative ethics

Knox College


Roya Biggie
Assistant Professor of English

Ph.D. English, CUNY Graduate Center
M.A. English, Georgetown University
B.A. English, St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Research:  Shakespeare, early modern drama, early modern medical texts and botanicals, ecocriticism, and affect theory

Teaching:  Early Modern Ecologies, Early Modern Cross-Cultural Encounters, Shakespeare, and survey courses in medieval and early modern literature

Faculty Profile

Lake Forest College 


Vivian Ta
Assistant Professor of Psychology

Ph.D. Experimental Psychology and M.S., University of Texas at Arlington
B.A. Experimental Psychology, University of Texas at Arlington

Research: Using computational linguistics techniques to investigate the influence of language on interpersonal dynamics, the impact of personality and individual differences on interpersonal relationships, and the role of technology and computer-mediated communication on psychological processes

Teaching: Research Methods and Statistics I and II, Psychology of Language

Faculty Profile

Luther College


*Kelly Sharp
Assistant Professor of African Studies and History

Ph.D. History and M.A., University of California – Davis
B.A. History, Willamette University

Research: Material culture, food, the ante-bellum South, race and labor, and business history

Teaching: Intro to African American History, Black Student Activism in Higher Education

St. Olaf College


Jessica Benson
Assistant Professor of Psychology

Ph.D.  Psychology and M.A., Rutgers University – Newark
B.A. Psychology, University of California – Davis

Research: Stereotyping and discrimination, identity, resilience, and academic achievement

Teaching: Issues in Diversity, Social Psychology, and Research Methods in Psychology

Faculty Profile


Stephanie Montgomery
Assistant Professor of History and Asian Studies

Ph.D.  History and M.A., University of California – Santa Cruz
B.A. University of Nevada – Reno

Research: Modern China, history of gender, sexuality, and the body; women’s history; the history of criminality and penology; and the history of science, medicine, technology, and drugs

Teaching: Courses include the Making of Modern East Asia, Engendering Modern East Asia, China Past and Present

Faculty Profile

*No longer at participating campus

2017 Mellon Faculty Fellows

Carleton College

Charisse Burden-Stelly
Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and Political Science

Ph.D. in African Diaspora Studies and M.A., University of California, Berkeley
B.A., Barrett Honor College at Arizona State University

Research: Africana studies, critical theory, political theory, and political economy with a substantive focus on antiradicalism, anti-blackness, and state-sanctioned violence; globalization and economic development; and epistemologies of Black studies.

Teaching: Courses include Black Revolution on Campus and Black Radical Political Thought, 1919-1969.

Faculty profile

Cornell College

T. Christopher Hoklotubbe
Assistant Professor of Religion

Th.D. in New Testament and Early Christianity and M.Div., Harvard University
B.A., University of California, Los Angeles

Research: Early Christianity, Greco-Roman archaeology, ancient philosophy, and critical theory.

Teaching: Courses in New Testament, History of Christianity, and Comparative Religion, with attention given to the intersection of religion, politics, ethics, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality.

Faculty profile

Lawrence University

Jesus G. Smith
Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies

Ph.D. in Sociology, Texas A&M University
M.A. and B.A., University of Texas at El Paso

Research: Race and ethnic relations, racism, gender, sexuality, computer and information technology, and health.

Teaching: Courses include Race and Ethnicity in the U.S., U.S./Mexican Border Sociology, and Black and Latin@ Sociology.

Faculty profile

2016 Mellon Faculty Fellows

Beloit College

*M. Shadee Malaklou
Assistant Professor of Critical Identities Studies

Ph.D. in Culture and Theory and M.A., University of California at Irvine
B.A., Duke University

Research: Reads Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks (1952) as a gender studies text to chart a contrapuntal relationship between sexuality, antiblackness, and social and political constructions of time. She intervenes in popular visual media like reality television to interrogate how time moves and for whom to catalog desire and identification as taxonomy and type.

Teaching: Courses include Sex and Power; Black Lives Matter.

Colorado College

*Prentiss A. Dantzler II
Assistant Professor of Sociology

Ph.D. in Public Affairs, Concentration in Community Development, Rutgers University
M.P.A., West Chester University of Pennsylvania, and B.S., Pennsylvania State University

Research: Focuses on the impact of changes in housing policies upon marginalized populations, especially those in urban areas.

Teaching: Courses around systems of inequality based on identities of race, class, gender and sexuality and aspects of community and neighborhood development for poor, urban areas.

Grinnell College

Stephanie Jones
Assistant Professor of Education

Ph.D. in Language and Literacy Education, University of Georgia
M.Ed. and B.A., University of Pittsburgh

Research: Focuses on the ways in which Black girls and women engage with literacies in and outside of the classroom, and specifically how those literacies can help shape culturally relevant and engaging pedagogy and curriculum for the secondary classroom.

Teaching: Courses include Principles of Education in a Pluralistic Society and a special topics course on Teaching Risky Texts in the Classroom.

Faculty profile

Lake Forest College

*Jennifer Jhun
Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Ph.D. in Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh
B.A., Northwestern University

Research: Areas of specialization are philosophy of science (especially economics and economic models) and epistemology.

Teaching: Courses on the philosophy of science, logic and argument, ethics, and social justice, including Logic and Styles of Arguments, Philosophy of Science, and Social Justice vs. Freedom?

Lawrence University

Thelma Jiménez-Anglada
Assistant Professor of Spanish

Ph.D. in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Studies, University of Chicago
M.A. and B.A., University of Puerto Rico

Research: Combines scholarly interests in violence, human rights and migration, with current research focused on trafficking, specifically of narcotics and humans in Latin America and US Latino communities.

Teaching: Taught a course on Latino-Latina literature during the fall term.

Faculty profile

Macalester College

*Crystal Moten
Assistant Professor of African American History

Ph.D. in History and M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison
B.A., Washington University

Research: Focuses on the intersection of race, class, and gender and specifically she writes about black women’s economic activism in civil rights era Milwaukee.

Teaching: Courses on modern African American history with particular emphasis on civil rights, economic justice, women and gender, intellectual history, and public history.

* No longer at participating campus

The Mellon Faculty Fellowships aim to enhance the diversity of new faculty who teach at liberal arts colleges, while also enhancing the careers of the fellows and teaching programs of the colleges.

The fellowships provide:

  • Funding for two years of each fellow’s salary and benefits;
  • The opportunity for these new scholars to teach half-time for at least the first year (and either a second year of half-time teaching or an extended fourth-year leave, at the discretion of the college), while also advancing their research agenda and becoming familiar with teaching and researching in a liberal arts college;
  • Mentoring by a professor at the ACM college, targeted professional development activities, and opportunities to network with other faculty and undergraduate fellows at ACM member colleges, such as at annual program-sponsored summits.

Faculty Fellows Candidate Registration Portal

Register your interest in being considered for tenure-track positions at ACM colleges!

Current graduate students and recent Ph.D. or terminal master’s degree recipients at Big Ten Academic Alliance member institutions or the University of Chicago are invited to visit the Faculty candidate registration portal to indicate their interest in being considered for tenure-track positions at ACM colleges which may be eligible for faculty fellowships.

Potential candidates may check the available faculty position postings at ACM colleges.

For More Information

If you have questions about the Mellon Faculty Fellowships, contact ACM Director of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Allen Linton II (312.561.5921).

The Mellon Faculty Fellowships and the Undergraduate and Faculty Fellows Program for a Diverse Professoriate are supported by a generous grant from the The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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